The unassailable advantage digital printing has over conventional methods is variable data production. Brands are starting to get it.
Digital printing still accounts for only a small percentage of global print volumes, around 7% according to various industry pundits. The problem with such numbers is how they are counted and what is considered print, for instance are labels and packaging or transactional printing consistently included in calculations. What is very clear is that the primary edge that digital printing offers over competing print production methods is the ability to use output software and databases to vary the content of every page in a print run. We have plenty of evidence of the power of this model in financial document printing. Complex transactional data that is specific to an individual is digitally printed, and output quality is constantly improving. The reluctance to use variable data for large run, very high-quality graphics projects has impeded the deployment of this technology. This is as much about understanding how to do it well as it is about the much higher costs associated with long run digital production. The graphics industry has been on a long and cautious learning curve for variable data production.